The Character of Economic Thought, Economic Characters, and Economic Institutions: Selected Essays

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University of Michigan Press, 1996 - Business & Economics - 535 pages
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Mark Perlman has made significant contributions to the field of economics and to the life of the discipline of economics. His creation of the Journal of Economic Literature is both an example of his contribution to the discipline and symbolic of the connecting threads of literateness, breadth of interest, and learning that run through his work. Publication of this selection of his writings is justified not only by the stature of the author, but also by the pleasure that all who cherish the intellectual activity of economics will find in these pages. Born, raised, and largely educated in Madison, Wisconsin, where his fathers was one of the principal figures of the Wisconsin Institutionalist tradition, Perlman decided early that he would be a professor. He first worked in labor economics and industrial relations, doing comprehensive and original work on American and Australian institutions. Later he worked in public health, demographic economics, and the history of economic thought. All these strands in his work are represented in this volume and add together to show the odyssey of his academic life and his thoughts on the changing nature of the economics discipline. Resistant to labeling either by field or by philosophy, he ultimately sees himself as an economic historian interested in the evolution of the several facets of modern professional economics. Readers interested in the human comedy of academia will find themselves drawn into the stories that Perlman relates about the many major economists whom he knew well. A series of vignettes reveal the character and interests of such figures as G. L. S. Shackle, George Stigler, Simon Kuznets, Jacob Viner, and his father, Selig Perlman.

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